The Iowa division of the US Route 6 Tourist Association will sponsor a classic car cruise across Iowa on old Route 6 the weekend of September 7-9, 2012.
Portions of the cruise will be included in the new documentary River to River: Iowa's Forgotten Highway 6 by Emmy-nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films (Country School: One Room - One Nation, Lost Nation: The Ioway, Villisca: Living with a Mystery). The film will feature scenic and historic towns and attractions along the historic highway.
“We want to encourage people to leave the interstate and head out on the old two lane highway, to leave the rat race of today’s world and to stop and smell the roses,” says Iowa Route 6 Tourist Association Executive Director David Darby. “Not only is it more enjoyable, but it benefits the local economy.”
The ride begins in Davenport, Iowa with drivers meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 7th at the corner of 2nd and Iowa streets.
Drivers are invited to join for all or part of the cruise as they travel west on Route 6, stopping at various locations on the way to Council Bluffs, Iowa--the final destination of the tour. Lodging with special Route 6 tour rates to be announced.
Those wishing to join for the western half of the cruise can either meet in Newton, Iowa on Friday night at the Valle Drive-In or Saturday, September 8th for breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Mid Town (Old Maytag) Cafe. Cars will depart from the square at 9:30 a.m. for the next leg of the tour.
Some of the best food in the state will be sampled at several eateries during the tour. A firm believer in buying local, Darby said, “When you go to a chain restaurant, the experience is soon forgotten. But when you go to a 'mom and pop' establishment, you can make friends, capture some history, and take with you memories that last a lifetime while the money stays within the community.”
An itinerary will be distributed to drivers during the cruise. Stops along the Route 6 tour include:
Friday, September 7, 2012:
Choice of The Wilton Candy Kitchen, world's oldest ice cream soda fountain - Wilton, IA; or, Brunch at the delicious Hill of Beans Bistro in Durant, IA.
Happy Hour at the Ladora Bank Bistro - Ladora, IA.
Dinner at the Carnforth Inn – Victor, IA.
Valle Drive-In (Iowa's oldest drive-in movie theater) - Newton, IA. (Drivers from the western half are welcome to join us for the movie as well.)
Saturday, September 8, 2012:
Breakfast at the Mid Town Café – Newton, IA.
Tony's Classic Cars, T-Bird restoration HQ – Des Moines, IA.
Bonnie & Clyde historical site, and Drew's Chocolates - Dexter, IA.
Bonnie & Clyde bank robbery site - Stuart, IA.
Lunch at the Menlo Café – Menlo, IA.
Jesse James Train robbery site – Adair, IA.
Dinner at the Wiota Steakhouse – Wiota, IA.
Sunday, September 9, 2012:
Breakfast at the Weather Vane Café - Anita, IA.
Lunch at George’s Chili King - Des Moines, IA.
The documentary is the first step in reaching a wider audience. Once the film is complete, Darby plans on publishing a book he’s authored entitled “From River to River: Your Guide to the Original Highway 6” to further encourage drivers to use Route 6 over the interstate for their travels.
“In such an impersonal world, it is a joy to take off on an adventure along the heartland of America, and breathe in exactly what America was built on,” Darby says. “Instead of a flat, straight pair of lanes interrupted by only green signs and overpasses, the rolling fields and curving roads undulate under your wheels in between the small towns that are filled with friendly people.”
River to River: Iowa's Forgotten Highway 6 is slated for release late in 2013. The documentary project recently received a grant from Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area.
Dave Darby, is the Executive Director of the Iowa Route 6 Tourist Association. The non-profit organization works to encourage state and local government to place historical signage designating Route 6 roads; preserve historical buildings, bridges, and alignments along Route 6; and to encourage co-operation of communities along the highway to hold festivals, concerts, car shows and more, to boost tourism and traffic to local businesses.
David W. Darby,
Iowa Route 6 Tourist Association